Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Ezer As "Beneficial Adversary"?

Just back from my Tuesday morning run. 

During my run I listened to this YouTube featuring Jordan Peterson and Piers Morgan, two of my favorite intellectuals. 

The topic was something like learning how to be disagreeable and even confrontational at times and the need to have disagreeable people around you because they tell you, not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear by not pulling any punches. Jordan Peterson has profoundly shaped the way thousands if not millions of people see the world and the political landscape in particular. I am grateful for him and for this interview. I just wish he hadn't used some very imaginative Hebrew exegesis to tell his audience that "beneficial adversary" is "the word God uses to describe Eve in the Garden of Eden." This is linguistically untenable (no Hebrew lexicon of which I am aware translates ezer as "beneficial adversary"), and, while Jordan Peterson, who is not a biblical scholar, can be excused for not knowing any better and assigning an inappropriate translation to ezer, what about those pastors who week in and week out engage in such, let's say, careless exegesis in their pulpits? The real danger is that if we hear enough of these fallacies, then we are no longer able to recognize the truth at all. One of the things I often to say my students is that every decision in life is ultimately an exegetical decision. Thus, to Peterson's point, the idea that a wife is supposed to help/support her husband when he is in line with God's word and go against him when he is not, while possibly true on a psychological or theological level, simply cannot be supported linguistically. 

Anyway, please watch the interview/discussion if you can. These types of respectful conversations are all too rare nowadays.